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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-12-18

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Quarterly report on the euro area: activity rebounds temporarily
  • [02] Les États membres n'appliquent pas suffisamment la législation communautaire visant confisquer plus largement les biens criminels.
  • [03] Standard Eurobarometer 68: Autumn 2007
  • [04] Better flow of satellite data for better management of environmental and security crises
  • [05] Competition: Malta opens petroleum products market to competition; infringement procedure closed
  • [06] Strengthening European Democracy, political dialogue and voter participation in elections to the European Parliament
  • [07] Financial services: Commission encourages better financial education for EU citizens
  • [08] Internal Market: Commission sets out strategy for EU mortgage markets
  • [09] Portuguese journalist wins this year's 'For Diversity. Against Discrimination' EU press award
  • [10] Commission clears acquisition of @Balance by STV Fund and Smith
  • [11] Commission clears acquisition of Campetroli by AgipFuel
  • [12] Euro area external trade surplus € 6.1 billion
  • [13] Commission launches public consultation on European 'School Fruit Scheme'
  • [14] GMOs: Commission sends proposals to authorise GM potato and GM maize to Council
  • [15] Rediffusion
  • [16] Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of Valeo CSB by Leoni Midday Express of 2007-12-18 Reference: MEX/07/1218 Date: 18/12/2007 EXME07 / 18.12

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communicationb

    18/12/07


  • [01] Quarterly report on the euro area: activity rebounds temporarily

    Growth in the euro-area economy rebounded in the third quarter of 2007, but economic activity is expected to moderate in the next few quarters, indicates the Quarterly Report on the Euro Area (QREA) published today. Tighter financing conditions, reduced confidence in the aftermath of the financial market turmoil and rising inflation, among other factors, will weigh on growth in the next few quarters. Activity will, however, continue to be supported by robust employment growth and record-high profitability in the non-financial corporate sector. The report also shows that better macroeconomic policies have been instrumental in ensuring reduced inflation volatility in the euro area notwithstanding the recent increase in prices. It goes on to analyse the evolving role of the euro since its introduction in 1999. Finally, the QREA looks at the long-term structural performance of the euro area, reviewing developments in structural reforms since the launch of the single currency and examining the causes of the sluggish productivity performance in recent years.

    [02] Les États membres n'appliquent pas suffisamment la législation communautaire visant confisquer plus largement les biens criminels.

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui un rapport sur la transposition de la décision-cadre 2005/212/JAI du Conseil du 24 février 2005 concernant la confiscation des produits, des instruments et des biens en rapport avec le crime. Le rapport constate que la plupart des États membres n'ont pas encore pris toutes les mesures nécessaires qui doivent permettre une confiscation plus large des biens criminels.

    [03] Standard Eurobarometer 68: Autumn 2007

    The Autumn Eurobarometer shows that general attitudes of citizens towards the EU and its institutions remain highly positive. However, EU citizens are increasingly worried about the economic situation in their country and notably by inflation.

    [04] Better flow of satellite data for better management of environmental and security crises

    Natural and manmade catastrophes in Europe, America, Asia and Africa, coupled with increased security needs, have further reinforced the need for earth observation systems. The GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) ensures that crisis situations like floods, forest fires or earthquakes can be better anticipated and managed through monitoring the state of our environment. To supply space data in a seamless, integrated, timely and secure way to the GMES users the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a 48 million € grant for a coordinated provision of space-based observation data for GMES for its pre- operational phase 2008-2010. This new coherent and cost-efficient approach prefigures an operational service that will offer a comprehensive and sustained supply of space-based earth observation data.

    [05] Competition: Malta opens petroleum products market to competition; infringement procedure closed

    The European Commission has closed infringement proceedings against Malta concerning restrictions on the import, storage and wholesale of petroleum products as Malta has now put into place new procedures that allow market participants other than former state monopoly Enemalta to apply for licences. Under the Accession Treaty, Malta was required to adjust its legislation by 1 January 2006. However, this was only achieved after the Commission decided in October 2007 to take Malta to the Court of Justice unless it adjusted its petroleum products regime within three months (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/1544&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/07/1544).

    [06] Strengthening European Democracy, political dialogue and voter participation in elections to the European Parliament

    The Presidents of the European Parliament and of the European Council signed today a regulation supporting the development of European political foundations and widening the scope of activities of European political parties. Less than six months after the Commission adopted its proposal, Parliament and Council have agreed to the revised regulation which creates new opportunities for strengthening informed debate on current and future European issues.

    [07] Financial services: Commission encourages better financial education for EU citizens

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication on Financial Education. The Commission stresses the importance of increasing the ability of Europe's citizens to understand and engage with financial products and services. Enhancing financial education has substantial benefits for consumers, the economy and society. The Commission sets out some basic principles to guide financial educators; and announces some practical initiatives.

    [08] Internal Market: Commission sets out strategy for EU mortgage markets

    The European Commission has published a White Paper on the Integration of EU Mortgage Markets. The White Paper summarises the conclusions of a comprehensive review of European residential mortgage markets and presents a balanced 'package' of measures to improve the efficiency and the competitiveness of these markets, to the benefit of consumers, mortgage lenders and investors alike. This is to be achieved in particular through improvement in the areas of cross-border supply, product diversity, consumer empowerment and customer mobility.

    [09] Portuguese journalist wins this year's 'For Diversity. Against Discrimination' EU press award

    The first prize in this year's 'For Diversity. Against Discrimination' Journalist Award has today been awarded to a Portuguese journalist writing about the discrimination faced by migrant workers in the Netherlands. The second and third prizes went to entries from France and the United Kingdom respectively. The special award to mark the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All has been won by an Austrian journalist. A prize- giving ceremony to present the awards will take place in Brussels this evening.

    [10] Commission clears acquisition of @Balance by STV Fund and Smith

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of @Balance of The Netherlands by Shell Technology Ventures B.V. (STV Fund) of the Netherlands and Smith International Inc. (Smith) of the US. STV Fund is an oil and gas technology venture fund. @Balance, currently solely controlled by STV Fund, provides technology used to assist in drilling oil and gas wells. Smith is a worldwide supplier of premium products and services to the oil and gas exploration and production industry, the petrochemical and other industrial markets. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [11] Commission clears acquisition of Campetroli by AgipFuel

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Cam Petroli S.r.l. (Campetroli) of Italy by AgipFuel S.p.A. (AgipFuel) of Italy, belonging to the Italian group Eni S.p.A.. AgipFuel manages the non-retail sales of fuels and combustibles. Eni is active in the production, transport, transformation and marketing of oil and gas. Campetroli sells non retail fuel products and bitumen in northern Italy. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [12] Euro area external trade surplus € 6.1 billion

    The first estimate for the euro area (EA13) trade balance with the rest of the world in October 2007 gave a € 6.1 billion surplus, compared with € +2.4 billion in October 2006. The September 2007 balance was €+3.7 billion, compared with € +2.3 billion in September 2006. In October 2007 compared with September 2007, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 2.3% and imports by 2.0%. The first estimate for the October 2007 extra-EU27 trade balance was a deficit of € 14.2 billion euro, compared with € -14.9 billion in October 2006. In September 2007, the balance was € -16.7 billion, compared with € -14.7 billion in September 2006. In October 2007 compared with September 2007, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.6% and imports by 0.6%. These data3 are released by Eurostat.

    [13] Commission launches public consultation on European 'School Fruit Scheme'

    Today the Commission has launched a public consultation on a possible 'School Fruit Scheme' as the next step in the on-going Impact Assessment exercise. This consultation seeks to collect the opinions and experiences of sector stakeholders and interested members of the public on four policy options regarding a possible European 'School Fruit Scheme'. The options are set out in a comprehensive consultation paper, which has been elaborated by a Commission working group, taking into account the results of a series of hearings and discussions which have already taken place with sector representatives, experts in and outside agriculture as well as Member states. The public consultation is open till the end of February. The paper itself as well as the mailbox to which opinions should be sent can be found at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/markets/fruitveg/sfs/public/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/markets/fruitveg/sfs/public/index_en.htm

    [14] GMOs: Commission sends proposals to authorise GM potato and GM maize to Council

    Today the European Commission transmitted proposals to Council for the authorisation of 4 genetically modified products. This is the next step in the Comitology procedure, following the failure of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health to deliver a definitive opinion either for or against these proposed authorisations on 10 October 2007 (IP/07/1488). The GM maize (Mon863xNK603, Mon863xMon810 and Mon863xMon810xNK603) are hybrids, produced from combinations of GMOs already authorised at European level. The proposal is to authorise them for food and feed use and for import and processing, but not for cultivation. The GM potato (EH92-527- 1 or "Amflora") is genetically modified for a higher starch yield, and would be used primarily for industrial purposes. The by-products from the industrial processes would also be allowed for use for animal feed. The GM potato would not be authorised for food use but a 0.9% tolerance for adventitious presence is foreseen. All of the authorisations proposed to Council today would be valid for 10 years, and any products made from these GMOs would be subject to the EU's strict labelling and traceability rules. Council has 3 months to reach a position on these dossiers or they will be sent back to the Commission for final adoption. For more information, see: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/index_en.htm

    [15] Rediffusion

    [16] Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of Valeo CSB by Leoni

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Valeo CSB, the automotive wiring harness business of Valeo of France by Leoni of Germany. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Preparation Environment Council, 20 December 2007

    • Memo on Mergers: Commission welcomes Court judgment on Dutch joint venture CVK

    • Memo on White Paper on the Integration of EU Mortgage Credit Markets – FAQ

    • Speech by Commissioner Reding on European Telecoms Reform and small and medium sized enterprises

    • Speech by Commissioner Piebalgs on EU Energy Policy Reforms and EuroMed Cooperation

    • Speech by Commissioner Piebalgs on Priority Action Plan for the EuroMed Energy Cooperation

    A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentratio From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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